DeSantis, a Republican, said live on “Fox & Friends” that the new law would continue to keep things like mail voting accessible while also protecting election integrity.
“I have what we think is the strongest election integrity measures in the country,” DeSantis said. “We’re making sure we’re enforcing voter ID… We’re also banning ballot harvesting. We’re not gonna let political operatives go and get satchels of votes to dump them in some drop box.”
DeSantis added: “We’re also prohibiting mass mailing of balloting. We’ve had absentee voting in Florida for a long time. You request the ballot. You get it. And you mail it in. But to just indiscriminately send them out is not a recipe for success.”
Democrats, meanwhile, have slammed the Florida bill and similar efforts in other states as “voter suppression.” Others have said the legislatures that are moving ahead with new bills targeted at election security are doing so based on the falsehood that the 2020 presidential election saw widespread fraud. DeSantis, for his part, has touted the security of the 2020 election in his state but said more needs to be done for the the future.
The law was immediately challenged in court by Democrat lawyer Marc Elias.
“REAKING: Minutes after Governor DeSantis signs new voter suppression law, @LWVFlorida, @BlackVotesMtr, @ActiveRetirees file federal court lawsuit,” Elias tweeted. “Proud to be part of the legal team supporting these great organizations protecting the right to vote!”
“SB 90 does not impede all of Florida’s voters equally,” the lawsuit alleges. “It is crafted to and will operate to make it more difficult for certain types of voters to participate in the state’s elections, including those voters who generally wish to vote with a vote-by-mail ballot and voters who have historically had to overcome substantial hurdles to reach the ballot box, such as Florida’s senior voters, youngest voters, and minority voters.”
The bill takes an omnibus approach, addressing many issues at once, similar to the approach of an election law that Georgia enacted earlier this year.